First appeared on Bootstrap Bookmarketing Coop.  Published on: Dec 8, 2009.  Still incredibly relevant, if not more so.  Notations throughout.  -t.


If you’re already running a blog and have a separate website, too, you may think also putting out a newsletter is overkill, but there’s some great reasons for maintaining a (at least) monthly newsletter, and it doesn’t have to add a huge amount of work to your promotion load, once you’ve got it up and running.

If the whole idea of adding a monthly newsletter to your lot really makes you pale and weak, there’s some very good author newsletter services out there that will do everything short of supplying the content for you.  If compiling the content is too much of a time challenge for you, you could always consider a ghost writer or freelancer, or promotion company that offers writing services.

1. Not everyone likes reading blogs…or can access them.

Just because you’ve got a blog doesn’t mean all your readers read it.  There’s still many readers who don’t cruise the net because of time or IT bars at their place of work.  Delivering your news via email may be their only means of catching up on your latest title.

2.  Newsletters Allow You to Control the Content — and the message.

Even if you’re sending out your blog content vis RSS feed to a staggering number of email subscribers, you’re still only sending one blog post per day, and that’s in a restricted format.

Your newsletter can be formatted the way you want it, and you can send more than one post.  You can add far more interesting tidbits and additional information into a newsletter than the central post.

This means you can send subtle sales messages that encourage your readers to buy your books, along with your news — something that simply isn’t possible with your RSS feed.

3.  Your Newsletter Gives You Control of the Mail List

If you’re running your RSS feed through Feedburner (something I strongly encourage every blog owner to do I would no longer recommend this.  RSS feed is dying.  Run even your blog posts through your newsletter provider if you can — and some email services can do this.) you’re already able to control, to a certain degree, the subscription list of your RSS feed.  But ownership of it is not spelled out in the fine print.  And readers are still not used to the idea of getting blog feed via email yet, so they’re slow to take advantage of the service.  As you can’t offer inducements to sign up via Feedburner (yet — however, you can offer inducements via an email services, plus auto-responder sequences to ease new RSS subscribers into your blog) , there’s nothing to encourage readers to use the service except for the convenience of getting blog feeds in their in-box, if that appeals to them (it does to me).

By building your own newsletter subscription list, you control it, 100%.  It allows you to offer inducements to readers to sign up (freebies and gifts) and you get to keep the list yourself.  (Still perfectly good advice, even if you’re running your blog posts through the same service.)

4.  Blog Content is ephemeral, day-to-day news.  Newsletter content can project ahead for your readers.

The biggest advantage newsletters have is that they can be used in conjunction with your blog, if you have one, to provide a complete reference of what’s happening in your world.  The blog alerts the reader about what’s happening right now, so the reader doesn’t miss out on what’s happening, because they’re never going to remember from day-to-day the special events in your career.

The newsletter, when you send it, will remind them from month-to-month of the big events looming up on the horizon; the book releases, conferences, book tours and signings coming up.  This will let the readers plan ahead for local events they want to attend.

5.  Your Newsletter Provides the Premium Content

Even though you don’t charge for the newsletter, it is where the premium content appears.  Only newsletter subscribers can enter your monthly contest, for example.  Only certain features appear in the newsletter.  And if your newsletter archives on your website are password protected, only your subscribers are able to access them.  This gives your subscribers a feeling that they are getting value for money, and they will feel they are getting a special deal, stay loyal…and remain subscribed.



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